Lichen sclerosus in men is associated with elevated body mass index, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease and smoking
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To elucidate disease associations and possible etiology of lichen sclerosus (LS), we identified comorbidities present in men with LS. LS is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology affecting genitals and urethra of men commonly resulting in strictures.
Men with LS of the urethra, penis, prepuce and scrotum were identified. A control population was generated from men seen in the Department of Urology matched by age and race in a 5:1 ratio. A case–control study was performed and comorbidities identified by ICD9, CPT codes and medication use via systematic electronic medical record review. Subgroup analysis of men with urethral strictures was performed based on their LS status.
Men with LS had a significantly higher mean body mass index [31.0 (range 18.9–52.6)] compared to controls [28.1 (16.8–64.1), p = 0.001], significantly increased rate of coronary artery disease (CAD) (15.3 vs. 8.9 %, p = 0.05) as well as a twofold higher rate of diabetes mellitus (15.5 vs. 8.3 %, p = 0.02). Of men with LS and stricture disease, 11/19 (58 %) were current or former smokers, compared to 28 % of men with strictures without LS (p = 0.006). No association of LS with other morbidities like hyperlipidemia, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease or dermatologic disorders was found.
Men suffering from LS have an increased BMI and a higher prevalence of concomitant CAD, diabetes mellitus and tobacco use. Development and chronicity of LS may not be a purely dermatologic condition, but be associated or confounded by systemic or vascular compromise from disorders of CAD, DM and smoking.
KeywordsLichen sclerosus Diabetes mellitus Body mass index Coronary artery disease
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